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Sepsis death toll climbs in Scotland to over 4,000 in last three years

© iStockThe Scottish Conservatives say more should be done to encourage nurses to stay in the country (iStock)

MORE than 4,000 Scots have died of sepsis in the last three years, according to figures.

Breakdowns obtained from 12 of Scotland’s 14 health boards reveal 25,693 sepsis cases were recorded between the start of 2014 and the end of last year, with 4,466 deaths linked to the infection.

Every health board which responded, bar NHS Borders, has seen an increase in the number of recorded sepsis cases between 2014 and 2017, with the majority also recording hikes in death rates.

Around one in five patients who contract sepsis will die from the condition.

Simple paper cut cost Fife grandmother her hands and feet after contracting sepsis

The Scottish Government does not publish routine NHS figures on how many people contract or die from the blood poisoning every year.

Dr Ron Daniels, founder of the UK Sepsis Trust, said Scotland should follow the lead of England and publish more data on how the blood condition is being treated in hospitals.

He said: “What we found south of the Border, as the reporting of sepsis has become more uniform, that firstly we got a better understanding of the problem and then we began to see improvements in screening.”

In NHS Lanarkshire, the number of sepsis cases jumped by 28% from 2014/15 to 2,860 in 2016/17.

NHS Forth Valley numbers increased from 276 to 348.

NHS Lothian, meanwhile, saw the number of people with sepsis on their death certificate, either as an underlying cause or contributory factor, jump from 398 to 433 between 2014 and 2016.

Elsewhere, Scotland’s biggest health authority – NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde – saw a modest rise (3%) in the number of cases over the last three years to 1,299 in 2016/17.

Scottish Conservative shadow health secretary Miles Briggs said: “It’s right that the Scottish Government backed our request for a nationwide sepsis awareness campaign but that now needs to be matched by a proper data collecting, too.

The Scottish Government said: “To tackle the problem of sepsis, our public awareness campaign has played a crucial role in alerting more people to the symptoms and dangers of the disease.

“Early identification is critical and treatment within one hour of recognition has led to mortality rates among those identified at this stage falling by 21% since 2012.”